On Friday Republicans in the House of Representatives revealed their intent to aggressively attack the immigration policies of President Obama by stirring up those conservatives who are only too eager to force a confrontation between the White House and Congress, which is now ruled by their own party. There is just one problem for the House – the Senate does not want anything to do with this plan.
Democrats in the Senate, and even a few Republican senators, are objecting to the House’s plan to block the president’s executive action to prevent millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. Even those opposed to this immigration reform do not want to cause a stalemate that results in yet another partial government shutdown.
Tensions have reignited between the Senate and the House over the former’s objections, which make it almost certain that the latter’s scheme will not garner the votes it needs to be passed. “I think the defunding action leads us to a potential government shutdown scenario, which is a self-inflicted political wound for Republicans,” argues moderate Republican senator Mark Kirk, who will be facing re-election next year in Illinois.
Despite being in control of both the House and the Senate for the first time in nine years, conservative Republicans are not going to find it easy to advance their agenda. The party remains divided on the issue of immigration reform, with the conservative base challenged by those who fear alienating the growing Latino voting bloc if they go too far.